'''Political anth{{morefootnotes}}
{{Forms of government}}
A '''form of government''' is a term that refers to the set of political [[institutions]] by which a [[government]] of a [[state]] is organized in order to exert its powers over a [[Community politics]].<ref>http://assets.cambridge.org/052184/3162/excerpt/0521843162_excerpt.pdf Kopstein and Lichbach, 2005</ref>  Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".  This definition holds valid even if the government is unsuccessful in exerting its power. Regardless of its qualities, a failed government is still a form of government.
Churches, corporations, clubs, and other sub-national entities also have "government" forms, but in this article only the organization of states is discussed.

Nineteen states in the world do not explicitly name their government forms in their official names (the official name of [[Jamaica]], for instance, is simply "Jamaica"), but most have an official name which identifies their form of government, or at least the form of government toward which they are striving:
* [[Australia]], the [[Bahamas]], and [[Dominica]] are each officially a [[commonwealth]].
* [[Luxembourg]] is a [[grand duchy]].
* The [[United Arab Emirates]] is a collection of Muslim states, each an [[emirate]] in its own right.
* [[Russia]], [[Switzerland]], and [[Saint Kitts and Nevis]] are each a [[federation]].
* [[Libya]] is a [[jamahiriya]]
* There are 33 [[Monarchy|kingdoms]] in the world, but only 18 named as such. The other 15 are known as [[realm]]s. Jordan is specifically titled the "[[Hashemite]] Kingdom of Jordan," while Britain is formally the [[United Kingdom|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland]].
*[[Andorra]], [[Liechtenstein]], and [[Monaco]] are each a [[principality]].
*The word "[[republic]]" is used by 132 nations in their official names. Many specify a type of republic: [[People's Republic of China|China]] is titled a "[[people's republic]]; [[North Korea]] a "[[democratic]] people's republic"; [[Egypt]] and [[Syria]] "[[Arab]] republics"; [[Guyana]] a "[[cooperative]] republic"; [[Algeria]] is a "[[Democracy|democratic]] and popular republic," [[Vietnam]] a "[[Socialist state|socialist republic]]," [[Sri Lanka]] a "democratic [[Socialist state|socialist republic]].
*States which wish to emphasize that their provinces have a fair amount of autonomy from the central government may specifically state this: [[Germany]] and [[Nigeria]] are each a [[federal republic]], Ethiopia is a federal [[democratic republic]], the [[Comoros]] is a federal [[Islamic republic]], and [[Brazil]] is a federative republic.
The sometimes utilized name [[Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia]] emphasizes this nation's separateness from the neighboring Greek region of the same name. [[Venezuela]] is "[[Bolivarian]] republic" which is meant to emphasize its descendance from [[Simon Bolivar]]. [[Uruguay]] is "[[Oriental]] republic" which hints to it being successor of the Provincia Oriental del Río de la Plata. 
Government ideology is also a common signifier appended to "republic".  Besides the Comoros, four other nations specifically dictate that they are Islamic republics.  Asian nations influenced by [[Maoism]] may emphasize their belief system by specifying the [[People]] as a whole in their official names: [[Laos]] is a people's democratic republic, and [[Bangladesh]] and [[People's Republic of China|China]] are people's republics.  [[Vietnam]] is a socialist republic.
Finally, [[Tanzania]] emphasizes the cohesion of its state as a [[united]] republic.
* Eleven nations simply refer to themselves as [[state]]s, but a handful specify what kind of state.  [[Micronesia]] is made up of federated states, [[Papua New Guinea]] and [[Samoa]] emphasize that they are [[Independence|independent]] states, while the [[United States of America]] and the [[United Mexican States]] are made up of [[constituent state]]s.
* [[Brunei]] and [[Oman]] are [[sultanates]].
* [[Burma]] simply states that it is a [[Political union|union]].

[[Image:Forms of government.svg|300px|right|A color-coded legend of forms of government. Click on map for descriptions below.]]
==Attributes of government==
Beyond official typologies it is important to think about [[regime]] types by looking at the general attributes of the forms of government <ref>[http://www.polisci.ccsu.edu/brown/regime_types.htm Regime Types<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>:

*Traditional/premodern ([[clan]]/[[kinship]]-based, [[chiefdom]]) or modern (bureaucracies)
*Personalistic or impersonal
*[[Autocracy]] ([[totalitarianism]] or [[authoritarianism]]), [[oligarchy]], or [[democracy]]
*[[Election|Elective]] or hereditary
*[[Direct election|Direct]] or [[indirect election]]s ([[United States Electoral College]])
*[[Secular state|Secular]], [[state religion]] with [[religious toleration]], [[Theocracy|theocratic]]
*[[Republic]] or [[monarchy]]
*[[Constitutional monarchy]] or [[absolute monarchy]]
*[[Majority government]] or [[coalition government]]
*[[Single-winner voting systems|Single-member district]] or [[proportional representation]]
*[[Party system]]: [[Non-partisan democracy|Non-partisan]], [[Single-party state|single-party]]; [[Dominant-party system|dominant-party]]; [[Two-party system|two-party]]; [[multi-party system|multi-party]]
*[[Separation of powers]] ([[Executive (government)|executive]], [[Legislature|legislative]], or [[Judiciary|judicial]]) or no separation of powers
*[[Parliamentary system|Parliamentary]], [[Presidential system|presidential]], or [[Semi-presidential system|semi-presidential]]
*Single or multiple executive ([[Switzerland]] has seven executives of the [[Swiss Federal Council]], [[France]] has a dual executive of the [[Prime Minister of France|Prime Minister]] and [[President]]; the [[United States]] has a single executive, the [[President of the United States|President]])
*Composition of the legislative power ([[Rubber stamp (politics)|rubber stamp]] or active)
*[[Unicameralism]] or [[bicameralism]] (much more rarely, [[tricameralism]] and [[tetracameralism]])
*Number of coalitions or party-appointed legislators in assemblies
*[[Confederation]], [[federation]], or [[Unitary state|unitary]]
*[[Voting system]]:
**[[Plurality voting system|Plurality]] ("first past the post")
**[[Majoritarian]] (50 percent plus one), including [[Two-round system|two-round]] (runoff) elections
**[[Supermajority|Supermajoritarian]] (from 55 to 75 percent) - [[United States Senate|Senate]] [[cloture]] rules, [[entrenched clause]]s, [[Absolute majority|absolute majorities]]
**Unanimity - (100 percent) - [[corporate governance]] for [[board of directors]]
*Type of [[economic system]]
*Prevalent [[ideologies]] and [[cultures]]
*Strong institutional capacity or weak capacity
*[[Legitimacy (political science)|Legitimate]] or illegitimate ([[Communist Romania]])
*''[[De facto]]'' (effective control) or ''[[De jure]]'' (nominal control) of government
*[[Sovereignty|Sovereign]], semi-sovereign, not sovereign

==Other empirical and conceptual problems==

On the surface, identifying a form of government appears to be easy. Most would say that the United States is a [[democratic republic]] while the former Soviet Union was a [[totalitarian state]]. However, as Kopstein and Lichbach (2005:4) argue, defining regimes is tricky.  Defining a form of government is especially problematic when trying to identify those elements that are essential to that form. There appears to be a disparity between being able to identify a form of government and identifying the necessary characteristics of that form. For example, in trying to identify the essential characteristics of a [[democracy]], one might say "elections." However, both citizens of the former [[Soviet Union]] and citizens of the [[United States]] voted for candidates to public office in their respective states. The problem with such a comparison is that most people are not likely to accept it because it does not comport with their sense of reality.  Since most people are not going to accept an evaluation that makes the former [[Soviet Union]] as democratic as the [[United States]], the usefulness of the concept is undermined.  In political science, it has long been a goal to create a typology or taxonomy of [[polities]], as typologies of political systems are not obvious <ref>Lewellen, Ted C. ''Political Anthropology: An Introduction Third Edition''. Praeger Publishers; 3rd edition (November 30, 2003)</ref>.  It is especially important in the [[political science]] fields of [[comparative politics]] and [[international relations]].  One important example of a book which attempts to do so is [[Robert Dahl]]'s [[Polyarchy]] (Yale University Press (1971)).

One approach is to further elaborate on the nature of the characteristics found within each regime. In the example of the [[United States]] and the [[Soviet Union]], both did conduct elections, and yet one important difference between these two regimes is that the [[USSR]] had a [[single-party system]], with all other parties being outlawed. In contrast, the United States effectively has a [[bipartisan]] system with political parties being regulated, but not forbidden.  A system generally seen as a [[representative democracy]] (for instance [[Canada]], [[India]] and the [[United States]]) may also include measures providing for: a degree of [[direct democracy]] in the form of [[referendum]]s and for [[deliberative democracy]] in the form of the extensive processes required for constitutional amendment.

Another complication is that a number of [[political systems]] originate as [[socio-economic movement]]s and are then carried into governments by specific [[political party|parties]] naming themselves after those movements. Experience with those movements in power, and the strong ties they may have to particular forms of government, can cause them to be considered as forms of government in themselves. Some examples are as follows:

*Perhaps the most widely cited example of such a phenomenon is the [[communist]] movement. This is an example of where the resulting political systems may diverge from the original socio-economic [[ideologies]] from which they developed.  This may mean that adherents of the [[ideologies]] are actually ''opposed'' to the political systems commonly associated with them. For example, activists describing themselves as [[Trotskyist]]s or communists are often opposed to the [[communist state]]s of the 20th century.

*[[Islamism]] is also often included on a list of movements that have deep implications for the form of government. Indeed, many nations in the [[Islamic world]] use the term ''Islamic'' in the name of the state.  However, these [[governments]] in practice exploit a range of different mechanisms of power (for example [[debt]] and appeals to [[nationalism]]). This means that there is no single form of government that could be described as “Islamic” government. Islam as a political movement is therefore better seen as a loose grouping of related political practices rather than a single, coherent political movement.

*The basic principles of many other popular movements have deep implications for the form of government those movements support and would introduce if they came to power. For example, [[bioregional democracy]] is a pillar of [[green politics]].

==See also==
*[[Comparative government]]
*[[List of countries by system of government]]
*[[List of forms of government]]
*[[List of European Union member states by political system]]

<references />

==Further reading==
*{{cite book | first=Carles | last=Boix | title=Democracy and Redistribution | publisher=Cambridge University Press | location=New York | year=2003 }}
* Bunce, Valerie. 2003. “Rethinking Recent Democratization: Lessons from the Postcommunist Experience.” World Politics 55(2):167-192.
*{{cite book | first=Josep M.| last=Colomer| title=Political Institutions | publisher=Oxford University Press | location=Oxford| year=2003 }}
* [[Robert Dahl|Dahl, Robert]] ''[[Polyarchy]]'' Yale University Press (1971
* Heritage, Andrew, Editor-in-Chief.  2000.  World Desk Reference
*{{cite book | first=Arend | last=Lijphart | title=Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration | publisher=Yale University Press | location=New Haven | year=1977 }}
*Linz, Juan. 2000. Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
*Linz, Juan, and Stepan, Alfred. 1996. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southernn Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
*Lichbach, Mark and Alan Zukerman, eds. 1997. Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
*Luebbert, Gregory M. 1987. “Social Foundations of Political Order in Interwar Europe,” World Politics 39, 4.
*Moore, Barrington, Jr. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Cambridge: Beacon Press, ch. 7-9.
* Comparative politics : interests, identities, and institutions in a changing global order/edited by Jeffrey Kopstein, Mark Lichbach, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
* O’Donnell, Guillermo. 1970. Modernization and Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism. Berkeley: University of California.
* O’Donnell, Guillermo, Schmitter, Philippe C., and Whitehead, Laurence, eds., Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: comparative Perspectives. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
* Przeworski, Adam. 1992. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America, New York: Cambridge University Press.
*Przeworski, Adam, Alvarez, Michael, Cheibub, Jose, and Limongi, Fernando. 2000. Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well Being in the World, 1950-1990. New York: Cambridge University Press.
*Shugart, Mathhew and John M. Carey, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics'', New York, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.
*[[Taagepera, Rein]] and Matthew Shugart. 1989. Seats and votes: The effects and determinants of electoral systems, Yale Univ. Press.jimmy

==External links==
* [http://www.federalism-e.com Electronic interuniversity journal '''''Federalism-e''''']
* [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/20c-govt.htm Types of Governments from Historical Atlas of the 20th Century]
* [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/othergov.htm Other classifications examples from Historical Atlas of the 20th Century]
* http://stutzfamily.com/mrstutz/WorldAffairs/typesofgovt.html

[[Category:Forms of government| ]]
[[Category:Government institutions]]
[[Category:Political terms]]

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[[uk:Форма правління]]
ropology''' concerns the structure of [[Form of government|political systems]], looked at from the basis of the structure of societies. Political anthropologists include [[Pierre Clastres]], [[E. E. Evans-Pritchard]], [[Meyer Fortes]], [[Georges Balandier]], [[Fredrik Bailey]], [[Jeremy Boissevain]], [[Marc Abélès]], [[Jocelyne Streiff-Fenart]], [[Ted C. Lewellen]], [[Robert L. Carneiro]], [[John Borneman]] and [[Joan Vincent]].

*Fortes M. and Evans-Pritchard E. E. (eds.). 1940. ''African Political Systems.'' London and New York: International African Institute

*[http://www.ipa3.com/ Journal of International Political Anthropology]

[[Category:Subfields of political science]]


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